ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Governor Kathy Hochul updated residents on the state’s response to the hurricane-force winds that impacted most of New York overnight Saturday.
According to state officials, more than 200,000 customers have since had their utilities restored, however almost 100,000 are still without power as of Sunday.
The high winds knocked out power for nearly 300,000 residents of the state at the peak of the storm.
Some locations around the state including, City of Dunkirk, Niagara Falls Airport, City of Buffalo and the Town of Batavia recorded winds up to 70 miles per hour.
“Last night, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers lost power as a severe weather system swept across the State, bringing hurricane-force winds to several places, especially in Western New York,” Gov. Hochul said. “We will keep working to ensure everyone in the affected by this weather system, which caused death and wreaked havoc in other parts of the country this week, will be assisted as soon as possible.”
Yesterday, Gov. Hochul deployed state emergency response assets as High Wind Warnings were issued for counties across the Western New York, Finger Lakes and North Country regions.
New York’s utilities have approximately 7,800 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response and restoration efforts across New York State.
Additionally, National Grid has 2,913 line, tree, service workers from New York, Michigan, Ohio, Indian and Ontario while NYSEG/RG&E has 1,800 line, tree, service workers from New York and Ontario committed for repair and restoration.
If you are experiencing a power outage here are a few safety tips:
- Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge that can damage these devices. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns. Consider using surge protectors wherever you use electronic equipment.
- Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the State Department of Public Service.
- Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
- Use only flashlights for emergency lighting – candles pose the risk of fire.
- Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed – most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four (4) hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
- Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat – they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
- In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
- If you are in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building. If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance. Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient – there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.
- Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.
- Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during a blackout, remember to obey the 4-way stop rule at intersections with non-functioning traffic signals.
- Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not be working.
Although the High Wind Warnings have expired, winds up to 40 mph are still expected Sunday.
Rochester has warming shelters in place at Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex on 131 Elmwood Avenue until 6 p.m. and at the David F. Gantt R-Center which will be open throughout the night for residents who have lost heat from the electricity outages.
Food will also be available to those in need of a meal.
The Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex will reopen at 8:00 a.m. and the Jackson R-Center will reopen at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.